Wichita Falls Wildcats lose close one against IceRays

WICHITA FALLS, Texas ? Kevin Charyszyn notched his first-career three-point game, but it was not enough to prevent the Wichita Falls Wildcats from falling to the Corpus Christi IceRays, 5-4, on Friday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.

Charyszyn led the Wildcats attack with a goal and two assists, while Nick Farmer, Tommy Apap and Max Reisinger also scored for the red-and-black.

Four other skaters registered points for the ?Cats in the contest, with Cam Knight, Matt Koch, Colin Staub and Paul Soubry tallying assists in the loss.

The first period played out evenly, with the teams trading chances and Wichita Falls outshooting Corpus Christi, 6-5, but it was the IceRays who found the net first on the power play.

With Koch in the box serving a two-minute minor for slashing, Corpus Christi went to work on the man advantage, moving the puck along the blue line to open space, before Wes Michaud teed up Anthony Cortese at the middle of the point. Cortese then ripped a one-timer from just inside the blue line that eluded David Zevnik to give the ?Rays a 1-0 edge.

The game exploded into life in the second period, with each team tallying multiple times in the frame.

First, the IceRays took advantage of their carry-over power-play time to start the period, as Tanner Lomsnes snuck one past Zevnik to make it 2-0.

Wichita Falls responded immediately with two goals in the next four minutes though. Charyszyn got things started, stepping onto as loose puck and sniping the top corner after a pump-fake got Luke Pickar down in his butterfly. The goal stands as his team-leading 20th of the season.

Moments later, the ?Cats tied the game as Reisinger swept home a chance from an acute angle on the power play to tie the affair at 2-2 for his 14th marker of the campaign at 5:23 of the second.

The level score was short-lived however, as the IceRays struck twice in less than two minutes to take a 4-2 lead on goals from Cortese and Nathan Bryer to chase Zevnik.

The Wildcats cut into the deficit with a second man-advantage marker of the frame to make it 4-3. A shot from Koch went wide, but bounced back in front. After Charyszyn touched it along, Farmer got just enough to shove it over the goal line for his 16th tally of the year.

With time winding down in the frame, Corpus Christi regained the two-goal lead. After an icing led to a draw in the ?Cats defensive zone, a mad scramble ensued at the top of the crease, where Matt Colford was on hand to sweep the loose disc home to make it 5-3 heading into the third.

The red-and-black started the third brightly, and cut into the deficit less than four minutes in thanks to a deflected effort from Apap. A quick wrist-shot from Knight floated softly towards the net, where Apap was on-hand to deflect it past to make it 5-4.

Wichita Falls poured on the pressure following that strike, outshooting Corpus Christi in the frame, 10-1, but could not find the fifth goal to level the affair, as the IceRays skated away with the 5-4 victory.

The Wildcats are next in action when they travel to North Richland Hills to challenge the Lone Star Brahmas on Jan. 30 and 31. Fans that cannot make it to the game can follow all the action on

, with an audio-only broadcast available via YouTube.